BLM activist leader of Boston nonprofit faces fraud charges for allegedly laundering 2020 charity donations

Black Lives Matter activist Monica Cannon-Grant requests a speedy trial

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A Black Lives Matter activist leading a Boston anti-violence nonprofit indicted for fraud and is now requesting a speedy trial to challenge the allegations against her, according to a report. 

The Boston Herald reported that Monica Cannon-Grant, the head of Violence in Boston, and her husband, Clark Grant, are accused of using the nonprofit "as a vehicle to personally enrich themselves and their designees," according to a federal indictment unsealed on March 15. 

The couple is facing 18 fraud related charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and making false statements to a mortgage lending business. Grant’s husband is charged in a more limited capacity. 

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Activist Monica Cannon-Grant waits to speak at a demonstration one day after the guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, in Boston, April 21, 2021.

Activist Monica Cannon-Grant waits to speak at a demonstration one day after the guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, in Boston, April 21, 2021. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

The 38-page indictment says Cannon-Grant and her husband solicited and received millions of dollars for the charity that received increased attention following the 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Federal prosecutors allege the couple has not submitted the appropriate tax documents to the state Attorney General’s nonprofit oversight office since 2019. Cannon-Grant is accused of paying herself a large salary, despite making public statements claiming she received no salary for her nonprofit work.  

Monica Cannon-Grant speaks during a Black Lives Matter rally in front of Boston Police Headquarters on Sept. 22, 2020, in Boston. 

Monica Cannon-Grant speaks during a Black Lives Matter rally in front of Boston Police Headquarters on Sept. 22, 2020, in Boston.  (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

She also is accused of directing co-conspirators to apply for public and private grants for the charity that were instead used to pay for the couple’s personal expenses. The indictment says the charity received a $10,400 donation from an unidentified department store for the stated purpose to be used to feed hungry children, but Cannon-Grant instead laundered those funds through a church to use to pay her back rent.

Monica Cannon-Grant leads demonstrators as they march from Nubian Square to BPD headquarters as they celebrate the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Boston on April 21, 2021. 

Monica Cannon-Grant leads demonstrators as they march from Nubian Square to BPD headquarters as they celebrate the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Boston on April 21, 2021.  (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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A new filing from Cannon-Grant’s attorney Wednesday requests accuses the government of being slow in its discovery process and not communicating details about their timeline for relaying such information to defense. It also alleges that one $3000 loan supporting the mortgage fraud charge was a gift and was not required to be paid back. 

"Ms. Cannon-Grant has been immeasurably prejudiced and punished by the indictment alone, and she seeks a trial on the earliest practical date to challenge the government’s accusations," the filing says.